I have always loved this line from Gungor's song, Beautiful Things. It runs through my head this time of year over and over. I see a little tulip or daffodil fighting its way up through the soil, and I say to myself, "There it is, springing up. Out of the dirt and the dust and the crusty, old ground. Finding life. Fighting to be beautiful."
One of the best things about a Minnesota winter is the reward of spring. It's much like forgetting about the pain of childbirth after the reward of holding your sweet child. The first warm days of spring come and suddenly we all forgot how cold and dark the past chunk of months were. There we are, springing up, in our tank tops and running shorts pretending like it's 80 degrees. We are suddenly happier, filled with hope, soaking in the sun, and for a few days everyone's a runner.
We have all had a long, cold winter of faith. If you haven't yet, you will. The time where everything feels frozen and stuck to the ground. Your fingers hurt and your lips can't move, nothing wants to change. Hard. Cold. Frozen. Your pleading with the Lord, seems to fall on deaf ears. All of the growth is stuck and lifeless in frozen, tundra soil.
The thing I love most about spring is this visual reminder of a precious promise. He is making us new. We won't feel it every day, every month, or sometimes every year. But it's there, like a bulb planted in the fall. Waiting through the winter for it's time to shine. He is at work. He hasn't give up on us. He is changing us. We might feel like we are buried down deep in the frozen soil, but we are just waiting for spring.
Then the warm, spring day of the soul comes, our hope is restored and we get to pop up out of the ground. After years of miscarriage after miscarriage, she's ready to hope again that God might bless her with a child. Springing up. They've stopped praying for healing as year after year no one seems to be listening, but today the wind of the spirit blows away the dust and they fall on their knees. Springing up. He feels that he might never laugh again, never feel joy after the loss of his son, but here he is smiling at his wife. Springing up.
Out through the mud and the dry leaves and the sticks, with strength we don't have on our own we are fighting our way out of the muck, out of the pain, out of the loss. Fighting to be made beautiful. Springing up and shining towards the sun. He is making us new. I don't think it ever feels good to be made new. It feels like a cold, sucky winter. But coming out on the other side, coming up in the spring, is pretty amazing. God has not left us on our own. He hasn't abandoned us. He is making us new.
"And the one sitting on the throne said, 'Look, I am making everything new!'” Revelation 21:5